Wednesday, January 26, 2011

EEG Fun…

AnnaKate had an EEG today to look for seizure activity. We have suspected that she may have had a few seizures and we wanted to have it checked out. The EEG itself was pretty easy, the hard part was that AnnaKate had to be sleep deprived to help with accurate results. She could only sleep for 4-5 hours the night before. To keep her awake and active, I took her to the mall and closed the place down! We then came home and played until 11pm when she had a major meltdown. We got her up at 4am which was a lot tougher than I thought. She was exhausted and just cried. We made it to the 7:30am appointment and AnnaKate did great while they hooked her up.(It is nothing compared to a sleep study…) She went right to sleep as she was supposed to, but in true AnnaKate fashion she woke up about 20 minutes into the study. I had to use all my skills to get her to go back to sleep. She eventually did and they were able to get enough information. We should hear some results in the next few days.

*I think the sleep deprivation got to me too…no pictures of the EEG.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Go Ahead and Jump…

AnnaKate LOVES to jump!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


AnnaKate got an Ipad for Christmas. Sounds a little extravagant for a 4 year old, unless you are a special needs parent and then you understand. The Ipad has become quite the communication tool. I wanted to share how we have been using it with AnnaKate.

First, the case…
I was a little hesitant to get the OtterBox case but after a few negligent tosses by sweet girl…we knew it was the right move. The OtterBox makes the sleek, light Ipad a little heavy and bulky but it is great for protection. It even came with a screen protector that went on perfectly. I highly recommend this case if you have a rowdy child using the Ipad. :)

DSC_8617The purpose…
The purpose of the Ipad is to provide AnnaKate with an alternate way to communicate as she develops her speech.

The apps…
I have spent an extensive amount of time researching communication apps. The gold standard right now is Proloquo2go. It is an amazing communication program. I have not purchased it for 2 reasons:
1. It is $199.99.
2. It is a little more than what we need right now for AnnaKate. I could program it to suit her needs for now but I have decided to try some less expensive and more simplified apps first.

Communication apps we are currently using:
Verbal Victor, Icommunicate and
My Choices Board

We have set up one entire icon screen with all of AnnaKate’s apps. She knows to swipe to her screen to find her apps.

   Here is a screen shot of Verbal Victor. Right now it is AnnaKate’s favorite communication tool. It is very basic and only costs $9.99. I like that AnnaKate can easily move through the screens to find the phrase she may want to say. I can see how she could outgrow this app but it is easy to use and great for our needs right now.


This is Icommunicate. I like this too but we don’t use it nearly as much as Verbal Victor. It is not as easy for AnnaKate to navigate by herself. It costs around $20.00DSC_8892

My Choices Board is great! This helps us with alleviating some frustrating moments in our house. We have created boards for what she wants to eat for meals, what she wants to watch on television, what she wants to play, etc. She loves touching the picture and hearing the word. This app costs about $9.99. Visually it is the most “cute” of all the apps with the neat little clipboard.


Other uses…
I was very hesitant about AnnaKate using the Ipad for non communication things. I didn’t want it to become a play toy and not be used for the intended purpose. I quickly found out that she needed practice learning to swipe, move through screens, etc. So we downloaded some apps that would help with that as well. So these are fun apps but help with navigation too. They also all expose her to language. It was neat for us to see how fast AnnaKate picked up using the Ipad.

Fun apps..
She loves being able to play her own music with Toddler Juke Box.


Peekaboo Barn is a cute app that practices animal names and sounds.DSC_8895

This is a great interactive Maisy book.


Duck Duck Moose has made some great apps. We have most of them. This is Baa Baa Black Sheep. AnnaKate has to find objects, match objects and navigate through the pages.



Babies with Ipads (the blog and Facebook page) has been a great resource for us. It lists great apps and also notifies you when useful apps are on sale or free.

The Ipad has become a great addition to our family. It has helped AnnaKate’s communication immensely and has become a fun thing to do together.


*This is a picture of AnnaKate and Billy listening to music last night. AnnaKate was changing songs with her feet! Silly girl…

Serious Snow!

This was not your typical southern snow...this was serious, real snow!

We had 6 inches when we woke up and it continued to accumulate to 7 or 8 inches.

Snow for breakfast!

This first day the snow was powdery and perfect for sledding.

AnnaKate loved the sledding. She would sign more as soon as we came to a stop.

We went for some great adventure walks.

This has been a snow storm that we will remember for a long time!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Jam Session

I came home the other night to find a little Jam Session going on in AnnaKate's room!

That girl loves music. When she got her Ukulele for Christmas we were shocked to see that she knew how to use a guitar pick. She loves music therapy at school and must have picked up her skills there.

The harmonica is always a fav too!

Monday, January 3, 2011

One Little Word

It is that time again to choose One Little Word for the year. My friend, Holly and I have done this for 3 years and we really enjoy discussing which word we are going to pick and how it represents us.

As I pondered my word for this year, I read Ali Edward's blog for inspiration. She wrote about how the word must choose you. Immediately, I was drawn to balance. It struck me hard and I knew the word had chosen me. I was going to find balance in 2011!!

I went back to my previous blog entries (here and here) to see what I wrote about my word and guess what I word last year was balance! HA...I thought it was purposeful but no that was the year before. So...balance did chose me because I must not have really found it last year! :)

So here is to balance...for one more year!

I want to find
in my work, my play, my marriage, my parenting, my running, my eating, my health, my friendships, my faith and the list goes on and on.

I think I am going to work on a little craft project to find a neat way to display my word so I don't loose sight of it like I did last year. Or I could just buy one of these cute little numbers...

What will your word be?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Best of Christmas 2010

We had a delightful Christmas filled with all the things I love...
and surprises!

What could be better!

One of the best Christmas presents was a great report from the doctor for my granddaddy!!

Christmas Eve fun

Santa came...

Oh my...did Santa really hang a swing in the house?!

Christmas morning

A little nap before lunch

Christmas with the cousins

A trampoline from Lou-Lou and granddaddy

In addition to all the family fun, I had some great times with friends!

These are two of my favorite shots from the holidays...

I hope you had a wonderful holiday with family and friends!